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European Genocide Network

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European Genocide Network

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 2002/494/JHA – network of contact points on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crime issues

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DECISION DO?

It establishes a network of national contact points (one in each EU country) for improving cooperation in combating genocide*, crimes against humanity*, and war crimes*.

KEY POINTS

National contact points for exchanging information on investigations of such crimes are established in each EU country. The details of each contact point must be sent to the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, which then forwards the information to the national contact points in other EU countries.

National contact points provide each other with information relevant to investigations into genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes upon request from other national contact points.

The Council of the EU annually briefs the European Parliament on the activities of the network of contact points.

The network meets twice a year at meetings convened by the Presidency of the Council of the EU to coordinate on-going efforts to investigate and prosecute persons suspected of having committed or participated in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It entered into force on 13 June 2002.

BACKGROUND

All EU countries ratified the Rome Statute of 17 July 1998 setting up the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hear cases involving genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

However, the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are primarily the responsibilities of national authorities. This is why closer cooperation between national authorities is needed to ensure these crimes are combated successfully.

KEY TERMS

* Genocide: acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

* Crimes against humanity: acts committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against civilian populations.

* War crimes: acts committed that violate the law of war (e.g. the Geneva Conventions). Examples include mistreating prisoners-of-war, killing hostages, or deliberately destroying cities, towns or villages.

ACT

Council Decision 2002/494/JHA of 13 June 2002 setting up a European network of contact points in respect of persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (OJ L 167, 26.6.2002, pp. 1–2)

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision 2003/335/JHA of 8 May 2003 on the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (OJ L 118, 14.5.2003, pp. 12–14)

last update 26.11.2015

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